Principal Functions in Information Technology

If you are like many people, the first thing that comes to mind when considering jobs in the technology sector is that of a software developer. Software engineers are indeed essential to technological development; however, they are not the only individuals to play an important role in the Information Technology field. The Software Quality Assurance (QA) testing team and the roles associated with it are just as important for the success of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

In May 2023, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that software engineers and software quality assurance analysts had a combined average annual salary of $107,510 (median 50%). Both of these careers are highly lucrative and attract individuals with similar educational and experiential backgrounds, particularly those with an affinity for mathematics, engineering, or computer science. However, they require distinctly different knowledge and skillsets.

Software Quality Assurance (QA) Testers and Software Engineers play a key role throughout the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It is critical to understand the differences between these two concepts and the value they bring to the process. Through a thorough analysis, we can gain a better understanding of these two roles and the impact they have on the development process.

Perform Duties of Both a Software Developer and a Quality Assurance Tester

What distinguishes programmers from QA specialists? Below is a synopsis of the roles that make up each of these organisations.

Creater of Software

Software developers are responsible for designing and constructing software solutions, such as mobile applications and websites, that fulfil the requirements of their customers, employers, or other stakeholders. In order to be successful in this role, they must have a deep understanding of a variety of programming languages and related technologies, including frameworks and development environments. It is essential that they remain up to date with the latest advancements and trends in the industry in order to remain competitive.

During the development process, basic testing such as unit testing will be carried out on the product to ensure it is functioning as anticipated. The primary objective of this development is not to exhaustively test the product and eliminate all faults, however to identify and resolve issues that are adversely affecting the product’s primary features.

Developing software involves more than just writing code. A software developer‘s responsibilities can range from creating the initial concept for a programme to conducting research into user requirements and determining the best way to implement them.

QA Tester of Software

Quality Assurance (QA) testers are an essential component in the evolution of software. As the name implies, these Information Technology professionals are responsible for conducting tests on the programme to ensure that it meets all the pre-defined criteria. They must consider various elements such as functionality, performance, usability, volume, load, stress, and security when evaluating the software during the testing process. Without the efforts of the QA testers, the software would not be able to reach its full potential.

In the majority of cases, both automated and manual testing are employed within the Quality Assurance (QA) process. It is essential that a human QA expert is involved in the process of scripting the automated tests, to ensure that the final product is suitable for its intended users and has a minimum of defects.

It is important to distinguish between the purpose of Quality Assurance (QA) testing and the concept of a product being completely free of errors. QA professionals are tasked with identifying as many issues and flaws as possible, so that the software developers can address them and make the necessary improvements. Any bugs that remain in the current version of the product will be addressed in a future update.

It is essential that the development team and quality assurance team work together closely in order to deliver a product of a high standard that is ready to be released to the market. These two roles are the most dependent on each other out of any other roles within the Software Development Life Cycle.

Whilst much of the testing process tends to take place close to the end of the development cycle, it can be highly beneficial to begin testing at earlier stages. This approach can allow testers to identify any major bugs which may have an adverse effect on the product’s functionality and quality before the developers have invested substantial effort into the project.

Prospective Professions

Developing and testing software are both essential elements of the software development process. There are a large number of job opportunities within each of these two broad areas. Examples of the most common types of roles taken up by software developers and testers are given below; however, this is not an exhaustive list.

Constructing Programs

  • Designer of User Interfaces
  • Programmer in the background
  • Expert programmer in every aspect of the stack
  • Engineer on Wheels
  • Creater of websites
  • Programmer who creates apps
  • Producer of Video Games
  • Analyst of Data
  • Technician in DevOps

Quality Assurance

  • Analyst, Quality Assurance
  • Engineer in charge of quality assurance
  • Testing specialist for software
  • Analyzer of Function
  • Mechanical designer of automated systems
  • Mechanical vs. Human Testers
  • Manager of quality assurance
  • Design Architect in Test

As a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET), you occupy a unique position, as you are responsible for the development of software that is used for quality assurance testing. This may include writing automated tests, creating test code, frameworks, and other components that are essential for the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). In this regard, you play a pivotal role in the software development process, just like other members of the team.

Abilities, Abilities, and Skills

Software engineers and quality assurance testers have a wide range of skills that are necessary for both roles. However, some skills are more important in one setting than another. To give an example, here are a few of the transferable abilities that are important for both roles: problem solving, attention to detail, communication, teamwork, and being able to think outside the box. It is worth noting that some of these skills are applicable to both roles, so it is important to ensure that they are developed to a high standard.

Writer of Computer Code

  • Programming
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Focus on Specifics
  • Adaptability
  • Logic
  • Multitasking
  • Curiosity
  • Concentration
  • Teamwork

Quality Assurance (QA) Examiner

  • Analytical
  • Interpersonal
  • Communication
  • Careful focus on particulars
  • Organizational
  • Efficiency
  • Wise thinking
  • Problem-solving based on careful analysis and reflection
  • Agility
  • Analyzing the Data
  • Teamwork

No matter if they are referred to as software engineers or quality assurance testers, both are integral to the successful development of software that is fit for purpose. It is essential to consider one’s skills and interests carefully when considering a career in this field, as each role calls for different abilities and commitment levels.

It is important to remember that there is a wide range of software and hardware out there to choose from. It is essential to identify the sector that most closely aligns with your skills, strengths and interests, whether that be Information Technology, technical writing or project management.

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